Why You Don’t Have to “Do it All”
“You can do anything you want.”
As high-achieving women, many of us grabbed onto this narrative.
It’s true. We can do anything, but at the same time, we can’t do everything we want. And there’s an important difference.
Because being able to do anything often turns into thinking we have to do everything ourselves.
We don’t ask people for help because that would mean we’re not the superwomen we thought we were.
And we end up feeling burned out and overwhelmed.
I sat down with my friend Elise Holtzman, former lawyer turned executive coach, to talk more about this all-too-common “do everything” mindset for females in the law.
Elise graduated from Columbia Law, started practicing in commercial real estate, and went “part time” when she had her first baby.
In New York at a Big Law firm, that meant she worked 40 hours a week for 80% of her salary.
Even though she loved what she did, she ended up throwing in the towel. With no other family members or female mentors in the law, this felt like her only option.
Today, she’s the CEO of Lawyer’s Edge, where she and her team help law firms grow thriving businesses by helping lawyers become better leaders.
I asked Elise to share some tips for women who want to unwind the mindset that they need to do and be everything.
Here’s what she said:
Invest in Yourself.
When I had little kids, people used to tell me, “Take care of yourself, otherwise how will you take care of everybody else?” I thought to myself, “That’s the reason?”
Not to sound like a L’Oreal commercial here, but take care of yourself because you’re worth it!
Don’t just do this for your spouse, your kids, and everybody at the community fundraiser.
It’s absolutely essential that you invest and take care of yourself simply for you. This doesn’t have to be money. It could be time to work on yourself and fill yourself up.
Let go of perfectionism.
I’m a perfectionist, so I’ll be the first to admit this is really hard to let go of. In the legal world, it’s important to uphold a certain standard, but in everyday living, remember this: “Done is better than perfect.”
Most people are not going to notice the things you think are big problems.
One day my uncle told me something along the lines of, “Elise, there are people who have six kids who go out to the bus. As the little one walks out the door last, his mom looks down and sees that his shoes are on the wrong feet.
Now you would panic and freak out and change the shoes and make sure everything's perfect. But some moms go, “Bye, honey. Have a great day. See you later.”
That example just made me laugh because those are the kinds of things that can make us completely crazy, but you know what? His teacher will probably notice. He’s not going to die. I don’t have to go around making sure every little thing is perfect.
Create networks of support.
Whether it’s book club with your girlfriends, a mastermind group, or an educational program, this part is important. Find a place where women come together and learn from each other, support each other, give each other tips, and listen to each other’s stories.
We’re human beings, and we’re not designed to go through life alone.
Not everything is going to be easy. When you have community and support, it makes it easier to navigate hard situations. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
If this third tip resonates with you, and you need a place where you can get together with other law-minded women, have real conversations, and build deep relationships, then I want to invite you to my next Powerhouse Lawyers Retreat.
This retreat is designed to help you let go of stress, get clear on your personal and work visions, connect with other women in the law, and leave equipped for success.
It’s happening September 27th - October 1st in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
You can’t do everything, and that’s okay. Nobody can.
Find a group of women who will build you up, so you can do more than you ever thought possible.
Cheering you on, my powerhouse friend.